According to sportsnola.com, two of Louisiana’s most prolific high school football programs over the last 25 years, John Curtis Christian in River Ridge and Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, have decided to play in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s highest select classification, Division I.

Two Lafayette area Class 4A Catholic schools, Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More, have already declared their intentions to play up from Division II into Division I.

John Curtis, who has 26 state championships in various classifications, including last year’s Division II championship, and Evangel, had taken advantage of previous legislation passed to play up to 3A classification and to participate in the Division II playoffs in 2013.Both schools will continue to compete in their 3A districts in the regular season but now will participate in the Division I playoffs.

Curtis and Evangel have met four previous times in state championship games with each team winning twice. On its way to the Division II title last year, Curtis smashed Evangel 40-6 in the semifinals.

Many pundits have long believed the reason for the split in the LHSAA’s state football playoffs was because of JCC and ECA. Curtis head football coach and athletic director J.T. Curtis told sportsnola.com that he hopes that this decision by the two schools will bring the association back together as one.

“That was certainly something we considered,” Curtis said. “Whether people recognize it or not, I have over 40 years invested in this association. I think it is best served to play as one, together, as a single association. If by us playing up to the highest level, along with Evangel helps solve the issue of people considering uniting as one again, then we feel ever better about the decision.”